Warning! This article includes spoilers for the second season premiere of HBO’s Succession.
In a surprise to viewers, in the second season premiere of HBO’s Succession, the Jesse Armstrong-created series about a family that owns a media empire, the character played by actress Sarah Snook, political consultant Siobhan “Shiv” Roy, impresses her father Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and he subsequently chooses her to be the heir of his media empire, Waystar Royco.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Snook talks about whether or not she knew that this major change will happen for her character and how that scene between her and Cox played out.
Snook reveals that she originally thought that her character would inherit the business, but later was convinced otherwise. She said, “Originally, I [thought that might happen] when I got the role back in 2016, when we were shooting the pilot, but in conversations with Jesse, he quite explicitly said that Shiv doesn’t want to be in the business, doesn’t want to take over, that’s not something she’s looking for. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s completely not what I thought, but OK, you’re the writer, you know what’s up, so I guess I’ll not be invested in that idea.’ And so then when I came back for season two and that idea came crashing down, I was like ‘Wow. That’s pretty cool.'”
Though Snook was eventually clued in on the decision by Cox’s character, she admits that filming such a pivotal scene was still a significant challenge for her. She explains, “For me, I was terrified. It was an amazingly well-written scene and it’s quite a pivotal moment for my character and I obviously wanted to do it justice. I wanted to do the scene and [feared] the creatives, like Jesse and Mark [Mylod, the premiere’s director], would be like, ‘You know what, I don’t think she’s ready for this storyline, maybe we should rewrite; and take the whole thing in a different direction. So I spent a whole lot of time fretting and ended up putting that into learning the lines, and deciding what she wanted in terms of objectives. And then by the time we got to that day, I just forgot it all and just listened to Brian and focused on being in the scene and in that world.”